Beyond the Farm Gate: Postharvest Loss and the Role of Agro‐Processors in Sub‐Saharan African Food Security

Lisa F. Clark, Jill E. Hobbs


The paper examines the challenge of postharvest loss (PHL) in Sub‐Saharan Africa. It focuses on strategies to address PHL at the agro‐processing level through more coordinated approaches to nutrition‐sensitive agriculture programmes. Looking beyond the traditional focus of on‐farm storage facilities and smallholder behavioural change, the paper examines three interrelated issue areas that ought to be included in broad‐based strategies to curb PHL: accurate measurement of losses; better coordination of agriculture and nutrition interventions; and addressing informational and infrastructural challenges. The paper argues that improvements  made in any or all downstream components have the potential to reduce rates of PHL. It emphasizes the value of a systems approach when developing multi‐stakeholder strategies to combat PHL.


postharvest loss; sub‐Saharan Africa; food security; supply chains; agro‐processors

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ISSN 1869-6945


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